FILE - In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

Health Canada approves remdesivir for treatment of severe COVID-19

First drug authorized by the agency to treat the virus

Health Canada has authorized the use of drug remdesivir to treat severe symptoms of COVID-19, the agency said Tuesday (July 28).

The antiviral drug, manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., is the first treatment authorized for patients with serious symptoms of the virus in Canada. The drug is currently only approved for use in adults and teens aged 12 and up with a weight of at least 40 kilograms. It is not authorized for use in children or pregnant women, and is administered intravenously to treat patients with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen.

Canada is not the first to approve the use of remdesivir for COVID-19; the drug has been approved for use in U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia. So far, the agency said a “small number” of patients are being treated with the drug under the Special Access Program, which will not be required for new patients going forward.

Health Canada said it completed an expedited six-week review to determine the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks when it comes to COVID-19. Two existing clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir. According to the European Medicines Agency, the most common side effect in healthy volunteers are increased blood levels of liver enzymes, and nausea in COVID-19 patients.

ALSO READ: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

ALSO READ: B.C. records 81 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. in three days


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The coronavirus has closed a Pitt Meadows pub. (Black Press files)
Pitt Meadows pub closed due to COVID-19

Staff member at Jolly Coachman tested positive for virus

Thousands of people have either voted early or requested mail-in ballots in Maple Ridge provincial ridings. (Black Press Media File)
Thousands vote early or by mail in Maple Ridge area

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Mission voters are already voting

Adrian Dix with NDP candidates Bob D-Eith (Maple Ridge-Mission) and Lisa Beare (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) at the Urgent and Primary Care Centre at Haney Place Mall. (Special to The News)
Dix visits Maple Ridge’s new Urgent and Primary Care Centre

There still aren’t enough doctors to staff facility – Meadus

Michelle Shipley shared these pictures taken of Pitt Lake this fall. “Such a beautiful area,” she said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Late fall reflected in the waters of Pitt Lake

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police boats were called in to search the Fraser River after a report that a plane had crashed where the river runs between Langley and Maple Ridge. (Shane MacKichan/Special to The News)
Investigation enters final phase, missing aircraft last seen over Fraser River in Maple Ridge

Small aircraft was carrying a student and instructor on June 6

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Surrey teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 after an altercation left an elderly man in critical condition. (File photo)
Trial dates set in White Rock manslaughter case

Proceedings against Ross Banner, 71, set for June 2021 in Surrey Provincial Court

Most Read